Bhawna Jat from Rajasthan becomes the 64th athlete to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from India by winning the 32nd quota place in 20km racewalk event, clocking a new National Record of 1:29.54 secs.
While all eyes were on Sandeep Kumar in the men’s racewalk event, who also displayed great performance and won the nationals by 1:21.34 secs, it was Bhawna, who surprised everyone setting up a new national record.
Bhawna clocked 1:29.54 secs, well inside the Olympic qualification time of 1:31.00 secs. Her effort was a massive improvement over her personal best of 1:38.30 secs, set in October last year. Priyanka Goswami narrowly missed the Olympic cut with the timing of 1:31.36 secs.
National record holder Irfan Kolothum Thodi – better known as KT Irfan – became the first Indian to qualify for Tokyo 2020 in race walking.
The first-ever Indian to line up in Race Walking at the Olympics was Ranjit Singh back at the Moscow Games of 1980, where he finished at the 18th place in the men’s 20km walk.
The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo July 24 to August 9.